"Mommy? Daddy? Don't you know you lost your daughter years ago?" ~Unknown
The first thing I noticed was the cool wind tickling at my skin, sending goosebumps all over my body. The second thing I noticed was the pain that came with finally awaking. Oh, it was agonizing. Pain blistered up and down my entire body. It was spiraling to each and every curve and crevice of myself. My eyes snapped open but I immediately regretted it. A feeling of discomfort and sharp needles pierced through my skull.
Closing my eyes again to keep in a few steady breaths, I tried once more. This time, I was successful. I could keep my eyes open for longer than a few seconds.
I moved, trying to get up. But it served to be pointless as a strangled yelp left my lips. Pain exploded everywhere. But I noticed where the pain was at the most.
Suddenly, it felt like I couldn't breathe. There was a giant brick sitting on me, closing in on me; depriving me of oxygen. I risked a glanced down at myself and this time, there was nothing holding back the tears at what my eyes saw. My body was bruised and battered. Scratches and blood marred every inch of my skin. The sparkly black dress I was wearing was bunched up around my waist, my lower regions exposed and vulnerable to the cold air.
Sparing a glance to my side, I erupted in sobs when I saw the remains of my underwear. They were ripped to shreds. The pieces of cloth marked with blood and other dirty substances.
Was I... was I raped?
No. No that couldn't be. I went out with a few friends but I don't remember leaving with anybody. I certainly don't remember drinking enough to get blackout drunk but I must have because I couldn't remember a damned thing.
I inched my head to the side, relieved to find my purse on the ground. Getting to it served to be a greater task than I originally thought. As soon as I moved, my body jolted, pain simmering through my veins. When I finally got to my purse, my tears had dried but my blood ran colder than I ever thought possible when I looked at the content in my purse.
My phone was in there, almost dead. But what had my bones chilling to the core was the note that also fell out of my purse- proving my own dreaded thoughts to be true.
'We had fun, princess. Maybe we can have another go at it soon? Remember, you asked for it. Girls like you don't get raped. They only get what they secretly desired. Be a good girl and keep quiet'
I jolted awake, my body screaming in protest at the sudden movement. Glancing at the alarm clock, I groaned into my bed sheets. It was just past three in the morning and I really thought I deprived myself of sleep the past few days, that tonight I could fall into a dreamless pit of wonder.
Of course not. No, that would be much too nice, right?
I thought dryly.
Instead of trying to go back to sleep and experience that dreadful night again, I got up out of bed. I combed through my frizzy blonde locks lazily before jumping into my slippers and snatching my pack of cigarettes from under my pillow.
Slowly, almost like some ninja out of one of those horrible action movies, I inched my way down the stairs. Careful not to step on the ones I knew would creak under my weight. My parents light snoring sounded through the house and I rolled my eyes. They claimed they never snored but they were the main cause of my many sleepless nights.
When I made it to the living room, I grabbed a lighter from the table and cautiously unlocked the door, before slipping outside onto my porch.
A cool gust of wind blew past me and I shivered involuntarily. Goosebumps arose on the surface of my skin, but I paid no attention as I took out a cigarette and lit it. When it finally touched my lips, I breathed a content sigh.
The cigarette did its job, calming my restless nerves even if for the slightest. I blew out the smoke, feeling my lungs slowly decaying inside my own body with every inhale of the poison.
Looking out into the black canvas above me, I admired its beauty even in night. Nightfall was just another way of showing the beauty of something so dark. The irony that the sun did not need to be out all the time to make everything else alluring in its own state. Night time was just as beautiful and, dare I say, much more peaceful altogether.
I thought back to the night, taking another drag.
Two years ago, something was taken from me. I couldn't say my innocence. Not really. I gave up my innocence long before that happened to me. A piece of me was taken though. A part of me I would never get back.
My dream was not really a dream. But my memory.
It didn't take a genius to figure out what happened to me. I left that abandoned alleyway that night without my dignity. I left a broken part of me that was never to be mended again.
I said nothing when I got back to my house that morning. Both of my parents were gone anyways. I stripped off everything and got into the shower. Scrubbing my skin until it was raw and bleeding. I felt disgusted with myself. It was a new feeling I wasn't accustomed too.
I was confident. I was brave. I was strong.
But at that very moment, I was anything but.
I was pathetic. I was scared. I was weak.
I said nothing when my parents came home later that night from work.
I said nothing when I went to class the next morning, my friends trying to keep a conversation going with me, but failing miserably.
I said nothing when I was brought in to my counselor after my teachers noticed how withdrawn I had been.
I said nothing, not because the note told me too, but because I couldn't remember a fucking clue as to what happened.
I forgot which friends I went with that night. There was nothing that helped me remember anything. Even if I did tell anyone, who would believe me? The bruises on my skin may have been enough evidence and maybe people could see if there was anything left on my body from the attack that would tell me who my attackers were.
But that would make it too real. That would mean I really was raped. And admitting that to anybody was something I simply couldn't do.
I was ashamed.
Later that week, I convinced my parents to move. It was a long and tedious task, but after finally bargaining that I would get my shit together and not act out or party anymore (not that I planned on it anyway) they agreed. They thought a change is just what we all needed.
It was just what I needed.
So, we moved from Georgia to Virginia.
And I loved it. Sure it was more expensive to live in, but Virginia was a beautiful state and I didn't want to leave it, ever.
Unfortunately for me, the state of Virginia seemed to be some sort of stressor, because the week we moved here, my mind began to flash me fragments of exactly what happened that night. To this day, I still got new pieces of information I hadn't recalled from that tragic night. But I knew who they were. I could picture their faces perfectly now.
But I didn't know their names. Not at all.
That night was all my fault. It happened because I was cautious, but I wasn't cautious enough. I never took a drink from a stranger. I was smart. I knew that. But I didn't think I had to be cautious about accepting a drink from the very person serving them, to begin with. It wasn't just him, though. Apparently, two to of his other buddies wanted to join in on the fun.
I closed my eyes tightly, not willing myself to cry. I made myself several promises after that night. One being I would never shed another damn tear in self-pity.
What happened to me was tragic, yes.
But it was too late. I was in another state. There was nothing I could do. They would get away with what they did to me.
But at least they couldn't hurt me anymore.
When my cigarette was finished I let it slip past my fingers, falling to my porch. Stepping on it, I threw the bud in the trash, before sliding back inside.
A quick look at the time let me know it was almost 5 in the morning.
I should make some coffee.